Central Jersey Working Groups & Committees
This page contains descriptions of the projects and values of Central Jersey DSA’s various working groups and committees. These are: the Housing Working Group, the Medicare for All Working Group, the Immigration Justice Working Group, the Bylaws Committee, and the reading group. If any of these are of interest to you, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help you get involved!
The Housing Working Group has the following long-term goals:
- To increase the number and extent of public, cooperatively/democratically controlled spaces
- The universal right to homes that are safe, including from police
- To increase the beauty and livability of our homes and neighborhoods
- For all housing to be environmentally sustainable Furthermore, we believe that these goals cannot be fully or permanently realized without also achieving an equal distribution of wealth and the abolition of private property.
Our middle-term goal is to establish a city-wide tenants union that can collectively bargain with landlords, hold them accountable to their obligations, and defend tenants from eviction and other forms of retaliation. We are currently planning our second tenants’ rights workshop, holding weekly tenant assistance hours, and canvassing New Brunswick neighborhoods to raise awareness about these activities. In the future we plan to engage in direct action against landlords, hold the city accountable to its Code Blue ordinance and the statewide Code Blue law, and hold a community workshop to discuss alternatives to profit-based housing.
Medicare for All
We fight for healthcare as a human right. The healthcare system in America - profit-driven, limited-coverage, patchwork, employer-based, and multi-payer - is a nightmare for poor and working people. The problem is straightforward: it is not profitable to insure sick people. The profit motive in healthcare creates a vicious cycle of worse health for the sick and greater costs for everyone. The financial and business elites are against any reform that limits or regulates their power, especially those that lessen our dependence on the market and waged work. While major employers and the corporate class care about their profit margins, they are also aware that the current system chains employees to their jobs, no matter how bad the conditions are.
Medicare for All is a demand that will disproportionately benefit working class women, low-income workers, unemployed and underemployed people, immigrants and people with disabilities, people of color, and LGBTQ people. Our working group has canvassed neighborhoods around New Jersey to raise awareness of and support for Medicare for All. We are a member group of the New Jersey United Healthcare Coalition (NJUHC), and in the future we hope to build the demand for Medicare for All in the labor movement, leveraging our class’s greatest strength to win this policy that will free us to fight for still greater demands.
Our cities and towns, our neighbors, are being menaced by the deportation machine which is spearheaded by ICE. We are all needed in this fight, regardless of the level of our political or advocacy experience. Locally, we must demand that law enforcement does not inquire about immigration status or cooperate in any way with ICE’s barbaric system of abducting, imprisoning, and deporting our families, friends, and neighbors. We stand in solidarity with undocumented members of our community by helping to build rapid-response networks for ICE raids, and demanding Sanctuary State status and the abolition of ICE and CBP. In the future we plan to hold know-your-rights seminars and provide English Language Learners’ assistance.
As the DSA National Immigrant Rights Committee wrote, “Current immigration laws and practices, imposed on us all by the corporations and their control of our government, often prevent working-class unity by dividing workers against each other and by creating categories of workers with few rights to organize and thus to protect their own interests. As socialists, we struggle for a system that provides security, not insecurity. We need a commitment to equality and equal status for all.
The Bylaws Committee was formed by straw poll at the September General Meeting and later ratified by the Executive Committee. Its purpose is to study the current bylaws, identify areas in need of improvement or clarification, and develop language to amend such areas to be presented to and debated by the chapter.
Political education gives us the tools to investigate our material conditions and develop a praxis for achieving our goals. It is the glue that binds our struggles together into one common struggle, and allows us to more thoroughly envision the better world for which we are fighting. A reading group allows members to go through the process of political education in a collective, collaborative way. Furthermore, it allows us to fill in gaps in our education that are endemic to our chapter and organization, preventing systemic blind spots from undermining our work. To this end the reading group intends to adopt a curriculum which centers the writings of marginalized people, drawing off of reading lists created by Socialist Feminist and POC caucuses in our sister chapters across the country. The reading group meets biweekly at various libraries across Central Jersey.